Meetings & Upcoming Events
meet one Sunday a month from 2 PM to 5 PM alternating between our
What can you expect when you attend a PFLAG Meeting?
PFLAG is all about Support, Education, and Advocacy. For people attending their first meeting, it is all about Support.
You will meet parents or family members of loved ones who have recently "come out" to them as well as others who have been members for many years and have gone through much of what you are just beginning to experience.
For some parents, this news is very difficult to deal with. Most of us have never had anyone tell us they have a gay child and many just do not know what to do with this information. While some people find this news quite distressing; they may be angry or hurt, others are readily accepting, but all have questions. There is a lot to learn and PFLAG is the place to ask questions in a safe environment. All that takes place during our meetings is treated as confidential.
PFLAG is where we share our experiences in small groups and support each other as we go through the process of learning, accepting and celebrating our families. We represent many social, political, and religious backgrounds but are neither a religious nor a political group.
We meet to engage in discussion in informal, confidential rap groups led by trained facilitators where we support and encourage one another as we seek to keep families in loving relationships after learning that a family member is gay.
Our meetings are not group therapy, seminars, or workshops. No one is called upon or expected to speak until they are comfortable doing so. We know that listening is often all a new participant can do and when they are ready to talk, they are given all the time and attention they need. We do not probe or question ones feelings as we know that all feelings are valid. People share as much or as little as they are comfortable with, often opening up as time goes on.
PFLAG is the place to come where you know you will receive a positive reaction when you say “My son is gay” or “My daughter is a lesbian”, or “I am gay”. For many, PFLAG is the place where those words are first uttered in public and here they are greeted with a smile.
Newcomers are often greeted with such warmth and support that they are able to articulate for the first time all the disturbing thoughts and fears they have been harboring since their loved ones came out to them. They benefit from the experience of members who are further along in the process of learning, understanding, and accepting as they learn facts they belie stereotypes and the negativity put forth by the mean-spirited seeking to marginalize our children. They receive reassurance (that our children are happy and healthy living wonderful lives with their life partners), information, and guidance as to how to deal with others who may be less enlightened. Newcomers hear the ease with which members say “I have a gay child” and then learn that not too long ago they, too, were newcomers with the same emotions and fears that have been overcome.
We meet to discuss the political and social environment that affects our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) loved ones and learn how we can work to advocate for their equal civil rights. We enjoy the camaraderie of other families with gay members and of our gay PFLAG members while we socialize, laugh, smile, share family photos, enjoy refreshments, and become educated by guest speakers.
We have a free lending library from which members are encouraged to borrow books and videos to help in the education process. Borders, Barnes and Noble as well as your public library are great sources for literature
Saturday June 9th LI Pride Parade in
WE WERE BUSY in 2011:
June 12th, Twenty PFLAG members marched together today in the Huntington LI Gay Pride Parade in perfect weather. While we may not always have a chance to see some of these friends at our monthly meetings due to other obligations, it is always a joy to see them whenever their schedules permit. The people lining the street were enthusiastic as always and we ended with the festivities in the park which never looked cleaner or fresher. The clumps of day lilies were abloom along with the hostas. The geese enjoyed the ponds and strolling along the paths. HRC and other Marriage Equality groups were out in full force obtaining signatures and postcards urging our legislators to pass this long-overdue civil rights protection.
It was brought home to us more than once today that as a group we need to learn and DO more to further Gender Equality legislation.
Marsha and Dan attended an address by
Governor Andrew Cuomo at his All Access People First Tour at
He spoke about many
issues including marriage equality. He
expressed his strong support for the passage of the marriage equality bill and
stated that this is one of his goals for the present legislative
session. He equated the lack of this
bill to the fact that before 1968 it was illegal for interracial couples to
marry in many states. He feels that
marriage equality is a basic fairness in civil rights and said that it is
April 27th, Iris visited Senator Marcellino’s office to discuss Marriage Equality. His position remains rigidly against it and he cites his upbringing as the reason for this. We made strong arguments for reconsideration and hope that he will do just that.
March 31st Iris spoke to @35 members of the Commack GSA – one of the schools that received our donation of a dozen gay-themed books back in 2004. Terrific group – great questions and very supporting sponsors. They will be ordering their own rainbow wristbands from Rainbow Delegation and appreciated the material left with them. They were interested in the history of the gay rights movement, the formation of PFLAG, possibly bringing parents to our meetings and we discussed coming out issues as it relates to acceptance by parents .
February 16th Iris spoke to 16 members of the Syosset GSA - a great, active, positive group with a terrific sponsor. One member and mom attended our Christmas party 2 years ago, another attended the book donation event at Borders as had the sponsor with several Syosset GSA members at that time. They loved our rainbow wristbands and will order more. They were interested in the talk and material left for their use and the seniors were especially interested in PFLAG's scholarship program.
February 8th Joan went to
WE WERE BUSY in 2010
October 26th. Iris spoke to @ 50 students and faculty as part of their diversity/history program hosted by the school's GSA, moderated by Professor Suzanne Johnson.
July28th. Todd and Mike spoke to 8 graduate students taking a course on collaboration and consultation in special education at the Riverhead campus of CW Post.
The professor, Dr. Kathleen Feeley, a strong advocate for the GLBT community, became one when a student wrote in a journal that homosexuality isn't discussed and how homosexuality in students could be a problem that many teachers face.
Mike read PFLAG’s mission statement and, from a parent’s perspective, described how having a GLBT child coming out affects the parents. Todd spoke from the standpoint of a gay educator about coming out and stated some statistics (1:3 teen age suicides is gay related). A wide variety of GLBT topics, some serious and some humorous, were discussed. The presentation was well received.
July 20th. Dan, Marsha, and Iris spoke to a group of @50 retired professionals in Great Neck. We discussed PFLAG, the issues we and our children face, and the laws needed to be enacted to ensure equal protection for our children and grandchildren. They were very receptive and had great questions. We demonstrated how there are more similarities than differences in the lives and issues faced by our gay children and that the differences would mostly be eradicated by the passage of equal protection legislation. To show their appreciation, they presented us with a generous donation to our PFLAG chapter.
June 23rd Iris spoke to a class of 25 current and future
librarians at CW Post Palmer School about PFLAG and our Book Donation project
(we donated a collection of 12 LGBT themed books to 25 GSAs on
June 16th JoAn attended the second annual Northport VAMC EEO LGBT Pride Month
June 13th We marched in the Long Island Pride Parade and had an table in the park after the
parade to distribute information about PFLAG and answer questions about our
group. We had a free raffle drawing
for a rainbow colored afghan JoAn crocheted and donated. The winner,
May 19th, Marsha, Dan and Iris spoke to a group of parents at Pride for Youth. We were pleased to see that they refer parents to PFLAG and to learn that they provide free on-site family counseling.
WE WERE BUSY in 2009:
June 14th we marched in the 19th annual Gay Pride Parade in Huntington. For a few pictures from the parade, you are invited to view Long Island Pride
On June 17th, we presented a table of material at the first ever EEO LGBT Employees Group in the Northport Veterans Administration Hospital.
We were 13 strong in the NYC Heritage of Pride Parade proudly marching behind our new banner.
This is an experience you just never forget and, it never gets old. Long-time marchers get the same goose-bumps from the crowd’s reaction to us as first timers.
Previous Programs at our meetings:
May 2013 Meeting:
Our speaker was Flo Marshak, LCSW, author of “Grandma Punch is ... a woman, a mother a grandma, a professional and a lesbian”
Flo Marshak is a social worker in private practice,
and has been in the counseling profession for over 25 years. Flo
has studied Kaballah along her journey to healing, and her grandchildren
see her as being “spiritual”. She lives on
October 14, 2012 Meeting:
Our speaker was Karen Taylor, Director of Jewish Outreach for Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth. She works with Jewish institutions to create safe and welcoming space for GLBT youth. Her program, The Aleph Project, connects GLBT Jewish youth ages 13-21 with Jewish life and experience, while working in partnership with synagogues and Jewish community centers to create positive, inclusive, and affirming activities for GLBT Jewish youth. The Aleph Project also offers programs and activities for young adults in their 20's and 30's.
told us about Long Island’s first ever “National Coming Out
Day/Jewish Social Action Month Campaign,” a project funded by UJA-Federation
October 16, 2011 Meeting:
Elisa Waters from LGBTeach presenting an informal "state of the schools" address- talking about positive measures that are happening, legislation pertinent to making schools safer for LGBT youth, and other resources to help parents and students.
December 12, 2010 meeting:
Cathy Marino Thomas from Marriage Equality NY updated us about the general state of marriage equality around the country and in NYS in particular, discussing the past election and how that affects us as well as some of the more "high level" specific rights that couples can only get with a marriage license; why civil unions don't work. There was ample time for questions and for letting Cathy know what was on our minds.
September 19, 2010 meeting:
Ellis discussed The Human Rights Campaign, a
leading national organization advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender equality in all areas from federal and state legislation to
workplaces and schools . HRC has active local steering committees in
communities around the country, including here in Greater New York -
November 14, 2010 meeting:
Michael LaSala, a gay professor, social worker and researcher discussed his new book “Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child” based on his interviews of 65 gay youth and their families
October 17, 2010 meeting:
Brown and his partner,
May 15, 2010 meeting:
Alex Martinez brought his team from New Yorkers United for Marriage Equality and HRC. Alex told his moving story of being denied access to his extremely ill partner of several decades when George was hospitalized. It was only because George’s family was supportive of their relationship that Alex was allowed (through them) to participate in decisions concerning George’s treatment and recovery. We signed more cards addressed to our NYS Senators urging them to vote for Marriage Equality in this legislative session
March 13, 2010 meeting:
February 6, 2010 meeting:
speaker from the
January 9, 2010 meeting:
Parents, Families, & Friends
of Lesbians And Gays - Long Island
P.O. Box 369, Deer Park, NY 11729-0369
• Confidential Help Line (516) 938-8913